Monday, May 16, 2011
Bulls vs Heat Game 1 Recap: First Blood
I'm going to try to recap what I think will be the best series of the 2011 playoffs (although every thing I've predicted thus far has been wrong) since there's about 2 weeks in between each game. Nice of David Stern to give me time to get my thoughts together. So, let's get it started.
Last night saw the Bulls draw first blood. Like most game 1s, it can go any of many different ways. The team that just won a grueling or emotional series (in this case the Heat) can either carry that momentum into this next series, or can experience the hangover from exerting all that energy. The Heat started off the game looking like they would fall into the former category. LeBron had a steal, 50 foot assist to Wade for a dunk, another steal, dunk and block shot in about 90 seconds. I immediately texted Bottle that LeBron was poised to dominate, however before I could even press send on a "Bron is dominating" (or something witty like that) text to Hater J. all hell broke loose. Brooklyn's own Taj Gibson absolutely posterized Chicago homeboy D-Wade. It's the type of dunk that will be shown over and over again until M@d $cientist contemplates giving up on sports forever. The type of dunk that Scoop Jackson could write an entire article about. The type of dunk that gets blown way out of proportion by everyone who writes about it. So maybe it's not the turning point in the series or a sign that "these Bulls are for real" or something silly like that, but it was a hell of a play.
And on the game went, back and forth, the Bulls bench outplaying the Miami subs (no surprise there) MVP D. Rose calming down after the early turnovers to hit a bunch of 3s and Chris Bosh of all people dominating down low. Eric Spoelstra made the curious decision to keep Big Zydrunas in a suit, even though you would think that his ability to hit the stand-still jumper would work vs. Noah, who likes to roam the paint. No matter, Bosh seemed out to dominate Boozer after the blatant disrespect that Carlos showed him during the ATL series, refusing to even call him by name and only referring to the Big 2 (even if he's right). The TNT guys said that Boozer was mostly irked that he didn't get an invite to the Heat this off-season and there was a little jealousy happening there. Imagine if Boozer had gone to the Heat, they would have the two most hated players in Cleveland history in their starting lineup. The only thing that could make Cleveland angrier would be to suit Art Modell up in a pair of Heat shorts and let him play power forward. Whatever drove him, Bosh dominated.
Unfortunately for the Heat, he was the only one who showed up. Wade struggled most of the game, and LeBron (whether it was due to Luol Deng's D or not) never got it going after the 1st minute that got me so excited. A close game in the third quarter (Miami actually had a 1 point lead) turned into a Chicago explosion punctuated by another Taj NBA Jam like dunk. I expect the Heat to play much better next game, but the Bulls defense may prove to be too much for them to keep from coming back to Miami down 2-0. So expect the Heat to win by 20.